The Tripartite Agreement was an international monetary agreement entered into by the United States, France, and Great Britain in September 1936. The purpose of the agreement was to stabilize their nations' currencies both at home and in the international exchange markets after the collapse of the international monetary system during the Great Depression.
During the Great Depression, international monetary cooperation collapsed among liberal states.Following suspension of the gold standard by Great Britain in 1931 and the United States in 1933, a serious imbalance developed between their currencies and those of the gold bloc countries, particularly France. The devaluation of the dollar and the pound sterling raised import prices and lowered export prices in the United States and Great Britain.
In the United States and Great Britain sound money advocates were divided between those favoring reforms to stabilize the currency and others who called for an end to the gold standard and a managed currency.
The Tripartite Agreement was informal and provisional.Subscribing nations agreed to refrain from competitive depreciation to maintain currency values at existing levels, as long as that attempt did not interfere seriously with internal prosperity. France devalued its currency as part of the agreement. The remaining gold bloc nations, Belgium, Switzerland, and the Netherlands, also subscribed to the agreement.
Subscribing nations agreed to sell one another gold in the seller's currency at a price agreed in advance.The agreement stabilized exchange rates, ending the currency war of 1931 to 1936, but it failed to help the recovery of world trade.
A gold standard is a monetary system in which the standard economic unit of account is based on a fixed quantity of gold. The gold standard was the basis for the international monetary system from the 1870s to the early 1920s, and from the late 1920s to 1932 as well as from 1944 until 1971 when the United States unilaterally terminated convertibility of the US dollar to gold foreign central banks, effectively ending the Bretton Woods system. Many states still hold substantial gold reserves.
A reserve currency is a foreign currency that is held in significant quantities by central banks or other monetary authorities as part of their foreign exchange reserves. The reserve currency can be used in international transactions, international investments and all aspects of the global economy. It is often considered a hard currency or safe-haven currency.
The Bretton Woods Conference, formally known as the United Nations Monetary and Financial Conference, was the gathering of 730 delegates from all 44 Allied nations at the Mount Washington Hotel, situated in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire, United States, to regulate the international monetary and financial order after the conclusion of World War II.
The global financial system is the worldwide framework of legal agreements, institutions, and both formal and informal economic actors that together facilitate international flows of financial capital for purposes of investment and trade financing. Since emerging in the late 19th century during the first modern wave of economic globalization, its evolution is marked by the establishment of central banks, multilateral treaties, and intergovernmental organizations aimed at improving the transparency, regulation, and effectiveness of international markets. In the late 1800s, world migration and communication technology facilitated unprecedented growth in international trade and investment. At the onset of World War I, trade contracted as foreign exchange markets became paralyzed by money market illiquidity. Countries sought to defend against external shocks with protectionist policies and trade virtually halted by 1933, worsening the effects of the global Great Depression until a series of reciprocal trade agreements slowly reduced tariffs worldwide. Efforts to revamp the international monetary system after World War II improved exchange rate stability, fostering record growth in global finance.
The Latin Monetary Union (LMU) was a 19th-century system that unified several European currencies into a single currency that could be used in all member states when most national currencies were still made out of gold and silver. It was established in 1865 and disbanded in 1927. Many countries minted coins according to the LMU standard even though they did not formally accede to the LMU treaty.
The Bretton Woods system of monetary management established the rules for commercial and financial relations among the United States, Canada, Western European countries, Australia, and Japan after the 1944 Bretton Woods Agreement. The Bretton Woods system was the first example of a fully negotiated monetary order intended to govern monetary relations among independent states. The chief features of the Bretton Woods system were an obligation for each country to adopt a monetary policy that maintained its external exchange rates within 1 percent by tying its currency to gold and the ability of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to bridge temporary imbalances of payments. Also, there was a need to address the lack of cooperation among other countries and to prevent competitive devaluation of the currencies as well.
The causes of the Great Depression in the early 20th century in the USA have been extensively discussed by economists and remain a matter of active debate. They are part of the larger debate about economic crises and recessions. The specific economic events that took place during the Great Depression are well established. There was an initial stock market crash that triggered a "panic sell-off" of assets. This was followed by a deflation in asset and commodity prices, dramatic drops in demand and credit, and disruption of trade, ultimately resulting in widespread unemployment and impoverishment. However, economists and historians have not reached a consensus on the causal relationships between various events and government economic policies in causing or ameliorating the Depression.
The United States Gold Reserve Act of January 30, 1934 required that all gold and gold certificates held by the Federal Reserve be surrendered and vested in the sole title of the United States Department of the Treasury. It also prohibited the Treasury and financial institutions from redeeming dollar bills for gold, established the Exchange Stabilization Fund under control of the Treasury to control the dollar’s value without the assistance of the Federal Reserve, and authorized the president to establish the gold value of the dollar by proclamation.
Economic collapse is any of a broad range of bad economic conditions, ranging from a severe, prolonged depression with high bankruptcy rates and high unemployment, to a breakdown in normal commerce caused by hyperinflation, or even an economically caused sharp rise in the death rate and perhaps even a decline in population.
The sterling area was a group of countries that either pegged their currencies to the pound sterling, or actually used the pound as their own currency.
The Nixon shock was a series of economic measures undertaken by United States President Richard Nixon in 1971, in response to increasing inflation, the most significant of which were wage and price freezes, surcharges on imports, and the unilateral cancellation of the direct international convertibility of the United States dollar to gold.
Barry Julian Eichengreen is an American economist who holds the title of George C. Pardee and Helen N. Pardee Professor of Economics and Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley, where he has taught since 1987. Eichengreen currently serves as a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research and as a Research Fellow at the Centre for Economic Policy Research.
Gottfried von Haberler was an Austrian-American economist. He worked in particular on international trade. One of his major contributions was reformulating the Ricardian idea of comparative advantage in a neoclassical framework, abandoning the labor theory of value for an opportunity cost concept.
The London Economic Conference was a meeting of representatives of 66 nations from June 12 to July 27, 1933 at the Geological Museum in London. Its purpose was to win agreement on measures to fight the Great Depression, revive international trade, and stabilize currency exchange rates.
The Great Depression was a severe worldwide economic depression that took place mostly during the 1930s, beginning in the United States. The timing of the Great Depression varied across the world; in most countries, it started in 1929 and lasted until the late 1930s. It was the longest, deepest, and most widespread depression of the 20th century. The Great Depression is commonly used as an example of how intensely the global economy can decline.
A fixed exchange rate, often called a pegged exchange rate, is a type of exchange rate regime in which a currency's value is fixed or pegged by a monetary authority against the value of another currency, a basket of other currencies, or another measure of value, such as gold.
The initial economic collapse which resulted in the Great Depression can be divided into two parts: 1929 to mid-1931, and then mid-1931 to 1933. The initial decline lasted from mid-1929 to mid-1931. During this time, most people believed that the decline was merely a bad recession, worse than the recessions that occurred in 1923 and 1927, but not as bad as the Depression of 1920-21. Economic forecasters throughout 1930 optimistically predicted an economic rebound come 1931, and felt vindicated by a stock market rally in the spring of 1930.
An international monetary system is a set of internationally agreed rules, conventions and supporting institutions that facilitate international trade, cross border investment and generally the reallocation of capital between states that have different currencies. It should provide means of payment acceptable to buyers and sellers of different nationalities, including deferred payment. To operate successfully, it needs to inspire confidence, to provide sufficient liquidity for fluctuating levels of trade, and to provide means by which global imbalances can be corrected. The system can grow organically as the collective result of numerous individual agreements between international economic factors spread over several decades. Alternatively, it can arise from a single architectural vision, as happened at Bretton Woods in 1944.
The London Gold Pool was the pooling of gold reserves by a group of eight central banks in the United States and seven European countries that agreed on 1 November 1961 to cooperate in maintaining the Bretton Woods System of fixed-rate convertible currencies and defending a gold price of US$35 per troy ounce by interventions in the London gold market.
The gold bloc were seven countries led by France that stuck to the gold standard monetary policy during the Great Depression, even though many other countries abandoned it. In addition to France, the gold bloc included Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Italy, Poland, and Switzerland.